10 unmissable Southern foodie events in June

June is very active when it comes to food events in the South. Because of this, we put together a list of recommended festivals and more happening in the first official month of summer 2017.

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3 delicious barbecue recipes to help you rule summer

Chef Jeffrey Gardner is back with three amazing barbecue recipes straight from the Southern Kitchen recipe library. Now's a good time to stock up on napkins.


Unfettered farming: Frolona’s Josh Davis raises pork and beef on his own terms

When people tell Josh Davis, of Frolona Farm, that his richly marbled steaks and pork chops taste uncommonly delicious, he replies modestly: “It’s not because I am some genius. I’m just letting [the meat] do what it’s supposed to do and not impede that.”

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A Tennessee town's cornbread and cast iron celebration

Every year, on the third weekend in April, an influx of 35,000 people flood Cedar Avenue – known as “Front Street” to natives of South Pittsburg, Tennessee -- for the National Cornbread Festival. Here's what happened this year, and a recipe for what the festival says might currently be the best cornbread in America.

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Read Virginia Willis' story of love, family and biscuits

Nothing says love and comfort like a fluffy buttermilk biscuit. Along with sweet sentiments, and memories of learning the love of cooking from her mother and grandmother, influential Southern chef Virginia Willis shares a family recipe.

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Perfect recipes for your Kentucky Derby party

Even if you aren't attending The Kentucky Derby this year, you can still have a great time entertaining others, Kentucky-Derby-style, with three recipes from Chef Jeffrey Gardner.


5 ways to cook with bourbon

Bourbon is a standard resident of home bars across the South, but with its bold, spicy flavor and notes of caramel, it can also be a delicious addition to what you’re eating. Plus, again, it’s bourbon. Even if kitchen work wasn’t fun, it can only be made better by adding that special barrel-aged sauce you’ve been hiding away.

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Three irresistible mac and cheese recipes to cook tonight

We love mac and cheese just as much as we think it loves us. So we got Southern Kitchen recipe tsar Jeffrey Gardner to provide a few easy, cheesy recipes you can make ASAP.

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Does better cast iron cookware mean better food?

Southern Kitchen is lucky to have people on the team who know a little bit about cooking in high-end cast iron cookware. Two of those folks were nice enough to help explain what you get when you upgrade, and why you'll never regret spending a little bit more on the fancy stuff.

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The best South-made chocolates you can buy

Chocolate is one of those things that can be from anywhere, as long as it’s delightfully indulgent and delicious. Still, considering how pretty much everything Southern is always a little bit sweeter, wouldn’t it be nice to satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate made in the South?

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Taste of a Place: Leah Chase's Butter Cake

While testing recipes for her book, American Cake, New York Times bestselling cookbook author Anne Byrn recently recalled a conversation with a legendary New Orleans chef and wondered how something as simple as a pound cake could bring back 80-year-old memories. So she baked it, and shared a story with Southern Kitchen.

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Don't Miss These 10 Southern Foodie Events in May

With spring now in full bloom and the weather consistently hot, there’s lots of activity in the world of food and drink in May. Here are some of the best festivals happening in a Southern state near you.

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Eating Appalachia with Ronni Lundy

While wild misconceptions and misrepresentations about "farm-to-table" foods and Appalachia abound, there are also those rare exceptional individuals who get it right, such as award-winning food writer Ronni Lundy.

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Seasonal Southern Soups

Grab a bowl, a ladle and a spoon, and use these stellar soup recipes curated by Southern Kitchen's Recipe Tsar Jeffrey "Cheffrey" Gardner, because the season is always right for a soup-spoon-full of goodness.

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Great cheeses from the Southeast

Celebrating National Grilled Cheese Day? Here’s a list of dairy farms and creameries in separate Southern states making amazing cheese.

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What makes a cookbook worth $10,000?

Toni Tipton Martin wrote an James Beard Award-winning book about African-American cookbooks. After recently trying to save a rare one through a crowd-funding effort, she spoke with writer Shaun Chavis and explained why.

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Whip up this spoonbread, garlic greens and smoked ham for dinner

Though spoonbread is little known in most corners of the world — and is even fading in some parts of the South — it remains a beloved classic for many families whose recipes date back generations. Some say spoonbread, which is more like a cornbread souffle with bread-pudding consistency than actual bread, dates back to the 1700s, when local settlers adopted and adapted the Native American tradition in their kitchens.

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How to make the ultimate sea salt rub for delicious barbecue beef

Barbecue sauce gets all the attention but true Southerners know that the secret to great cooking is in the rub. While every chef has their own blends and special ingredients, simplicity is often the best kept secret.

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5 tips for perfect pickling

Whether it’s the briny snap of a dill spear at a summer cookout or a tangy dollop of chowchow atop a ballpark frank, few things add complexity, acidity and even a dash of nostalgia quite like pickles. While pickled veggies abound in France, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, the tradition has a special place in Southern kitchens, where the art of “puttin’ up” preserves the flavor and freshness of harvest crops long after the season ends.

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5 can’t-miss April events for Southern foodies

With the onset of spring, there are lots of opportunities to head out on the highways of the Southeast and experience amazing celebrations of food and drink.

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Datil peppers and the unique culinary scene of St. Augustine

It’s a warm, cloudless afternoon as Joe Hill walks amongst his datil pepper grove at Bite Me Farms in Elkton, a small Florida farming community on the outskirts of St. Augustine. Hill dumps out a few of black, 35-gallon buckets he used to grow last year’s crop. A combination of dark soil and wilting pepper plants spill to the ground.

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How to make salsa with the South’s most famous fruit

The mighty peach is one of the most popular and emblematic fruits of the South, and there are countless ways to enjoy it beyond the perennial Southern peach pie. But there's a particularly saucy peach preparation that talented chefs across the South have sworn by for generations, or at least as long as Mason jars have been around.

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Consume St. Patrick’s Day the Savannah way

St. Patrick’s Day signals the seasonal shift to spring with an infectious feeling of luck and glee, and a certain Georgia city knows this perhaps better than anywhere else in the U.S. When it comes to celebrating Irish heritage, the port city of Savannah, Georgia, with its parade, food culture and history, sets itself apart from others.

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Dining in the new home of the Braves

Spring brings the return of baseball, and this season will be a big one in Atlanta with the completion of SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. The modern, 41,000-seat stadium will be full of fancy new amenities, but it’s the food and drink options that have us already hungrily humming “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”


Where to find great Southern gas station and corner store cuisine

Some of the South’s most delicious dishes aren’t found in swanky restaurants favored by the James Beard Foundation and other esteemed culinary voices, nor are they restricted to grandma’s kitchen. Sometimes great food is found in places not even adventurous eaters think to look: gas stations and corner stores.

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10 delicious Southern hot sauces (and foods to eat with them)

I went on a search for hot sauce made in the South, and any and all was fair game. It’s all delicious – even to someone like me, who didn’t really know she was a hot sauce fan.

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5 awesome breakfast taco recipes from Austin, Texas

Breakfast tacos have come to define the laid-back, anything-goes vibe that’s earned the trendy Texas town its “Keep Austin Weird” motto. Even the term “breakfast” taco is a misnomer of sorts, given that many residents say there’s really no wrong time to eat one.

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Whip up this Classic Barbecue Sauce

If the Romans gave the world mustard and the Chinese introduced the spices and pickled fish that would evolve into ketchup, it’s the American empire that has made its mark on the global table with barbecue sauce. Let’s face it: There are few, if any, culinary inventions as mouth-wateringly versatile and all-American.

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Uniting Texan and Japanese fare in a new Austin izakaya

Tatsu Aikawa has been a restaurateur for only four years, but the ideas he developed are informed by a lifetime of experience. Born in Japan, he moved to Austin, Texas, at age 10 and grew up to gain a unique culinary point of view with equal parts Japanese and Texan influence.

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Hugh Acheson on the 'beauty and density' of Southern cuisine

Acheson recently sat down with Southern Kitchen to talk about how he fell in love with Southern cooking, what it’s like when he cooks and hosts at home and what new projects he has coming up.

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5 recipes to make with Beautiful Briny Sea salt and sugar

Beautiful Briny Sea’s “salt studio” is nestled inside a small industrial-looking building in the middle of an intown Atlanta neighborhood. Nothing on the exterior prepares you for the rush of intoxicating, sweet, spicy, floral, herbal and pungent aromas that hit you when you come in the door.

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5 deviled egg recipes to spark your imagination

Deviled eggs are a Southern go-to dish. They are quick to whip up and easily transportable, so it’s no wonder that deviled eggs are a near-constant feature at Southern social gatherings.

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Florida chefs turn lionfish from foe to dinner favorite

No one in Florida likes lionfish. The voracious invaders native to Indo-Pacific waters first appeared in the Gulf of Mexico three decades ago. Since, they’ve threatened local fish populations, overrun coral reefs and wreaked havoc on divers and snorkelers with their venomous spines.

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A complete guide to seasoning a cast iron skillet, even if you don’t eat meat

Whether searing a pork loin or baking an apple pie, the cast iron skillet has proven to be one of the most versatile, long-lasting cooking tools in the Southern kitchen. With the proper care, your cast iron has unique potential to last generations, thanks to the skillet’s heavy duty metal.

Although using lard to season is the most popular approach in the South, it's possible to maintain a nice patina and help your skillet reach heirloom status even if you don't eat animal products.

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How to make Flying Biscuit Cafe’s award-winning grits

Opened in 1993 by waitress and chef Delia Champion alongside Indigo Girls band member Emily Saliers, Flying Biscuit Cafe has reigned supreme in Atlanta for over 20 years. With locations in North Carolina, Florida and Texas, Flying Biscuit Cafe is spreading its traditional takes on Southern-inspired comfort food throughout the region. One of the signature dishes (and customer favorites) is their award-winning Creamy Dreamy White Cheddar Grits.

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Old-school Southern desserts that deserve a comeback

Nothing can bring back memories of childhood in the South — birthday parties, Christmas gatherings, church potlucks — like a classic dessert. While we love any sweet treat that conjures a connection to the good old days, old-school Southern desserts provide a rich opportunity to innovate.

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5 perfect pimento cheese recipes every Southerner will love

The “perfect” pimento cheese recipe will be different depending upon whom you ask. Southerners, from state to state and even table to table, prefer different ingredients and flavors. But almost everyone agrees that the ideal pimento cheese is effortlessly spreadable, a bit chunky and — most importantly — never drowning in mayonnaise.

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Make these ham and peach biscuits

Nothing is as sweet as peaches in the summer. The Southern-bred fruit shows up in different dishes throughout the hot season, from peach-infused bourbon or grilled with vanilla ice cream to simply filling baked pies cooled by the window. The best way to keep their complex flavor past the season is through preserves. You can enjoy their tasty ripeness year-round — even in the cold of winter.

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5 distinct, delicious pecan recipes

There’s a classic zinger a few long-time Southerners dish out from time to time around the dinner table (typically after a few glasses of bourbon) when the topic of pecans and their proper pronunciation comes up. A “puh-kahn” is a nut, they say; a “pee-kan” is what you keep by your bed in case you need to get up in the middle of the night. Wherever you stand on the linguistic discussion, there’s no debate that pecans are a mainstay of Southern cuisine in interpretations both sweet and savory.

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How to make fried quail

Quail, a mid-sized game bird, was prolific across the South in the first half of the 20th century. From Texas to Georgia, a generation of Southerners roamed the outdoors, shotgun in hand and dog at their side, in search of the brown bird. Avid quail hunters included author and legendary sportsman Ernest Hemingway.

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A ditchbug by any other name: Digging into the diverse culinary lexicon of crawfish

There are hundreds of species of crawfish in America’s creeks, rivers and ponds. Sometimes it seems like the names we have for them are just as numerous. From the clinical and scientifically accurate “crayfish” to the more colorful “mudbug” to the more obscure but no less entertaining “ditchbug” or “crawpappy,” the nomenclature of crawfish is a linguistic melting pot. But where did these terms come from — and what do they say about the person who uses them?

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Lulu’s Lower Alabama Caviar recipe

To the unfamiliar, the words “L.A. Caviar” might conjure images of eating the swanky ocean delicacy on a sunny, palm tree-surrounded patio in Southern California. However, most Southerners and fans of the popular seaside restaurant, Lulu’s at Homeport Marina know “L.A. Caviar” actually refers to “Lulu’s Lower Alabama Caviar,” the restaurant’s signature black-eyed pea dip. Owned and managed by Lucy Buffett, sister of Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffett, Lulu’s attracts the same margarita-loving crowd with features like live music, a gift store, an arcade for the kids and of course, the delicious seafood dishes you’d expect from the Gulf Coast. The restaurant now has two locations: the original, in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and one in Destin, Florida.

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How to make Honey-Ginger Pork Tenderloin

Everyone knows that grill outs are a part of life in Texas, where people take pride in their style and recipes. My Gran had something unique in the arsenal, and her signature recipe made everyone look forward to dinnertime. As a kid I loved it when she cooked, because I knew I would soon be devouring her Honey-Ginger Pork Tenderloin.

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How to make Southern Pecan Deviled Eggs

The enduring appeal of the deviled egg is easy to understand. This classic Southern finger food takes little time to whip up for your big Easter gathering or 4th of July picnic. Deviled eggs are easily transportable as one of the only food items that has its own travel plate designed specifically with it in mind.

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How to make the perfect New Orleans charm cake

The charm cake, a must-have component of any New Orleans-style bridesmaids tea, is a tradition that dates back to Victorian England. It was brought to the Big Easy by French and British colonizers, although they referred to the charm cake game that we know today as the “ribbon pull.” It is is one of the many European influences you can still see in the city and remains a party favorite among brides preparing for their wedding.

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5 twists on a Southern classic: Cornbread

No matter how much space you have on your dinner table, or in your stomach when it’s time for seconds, there’s always room for cornbread. It is an ideal side for barbecue favorites, chili, country ham and just about anything else that’s edible and has a little extra juice to it — a vehicle to soak up all of the goodness. But cornbread is much more than just a spongy side item in the South. Here are five easy ways to enjoy cornbread with your meal.

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Introducing Southern Kitchen

“Everyone always gathers in the kitchen,” said the host of a housewarming party I recently attended. I nodded as I smiled politely and replied, “Of course, that’s where the food is. That’s where people are comfortable.”

I learned a long time ago that trying to get folks out of the kitchen at a gathering is a futile effort; your not-so-subtle suggestion to head into the family room tends to fall on deaf ears as guests continue snacking and chatting around the kitchen counter.

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10 foods every Southern chef should master

The South is a vast place. Those who grew up in Appalachia, for example, probably didn’t have a regular diet of gumbo, while those in New Orleans might have favored pralines over chess pie. In an attempt to celebrate our Southern diversity and put together a democratic collection of edible essentials, we polled a few experts throughout the region to hear their favorites.